Bay Area interior designer Dave McMullen founded McMullen & Co LLC after 30 years in corporate finance law where he was a partner at a major US law firm practicing in Chicago and San Francisco. During such time, Dave represented some of the world’s largest institutional investors in complex financial transactions and held a variety of leadership roles at the firm.
Although his path to interior design may not be the norm, his decades of high-stakes corporate law prepared him well for his new role. In addition to an extremely high level of client service, attention to detail and business savvy in his prior career, Dave explains that transactional law is much like an installation.“ Many moving parts must be prepared for delivery and a date for completion.” He brings his commitment to client service, attention to detail and business savvy to each of his interior design projects.
Over the years, Dave designed his own homes and would often receive requests from friends to help with their houses. However, it wasn't until after he hired interior designers to remodel his San Francisco home—and followed them from start to reveal—that he decided design was more than a passion, but something he wanted to do as a career.
In 2014, Dave and his husband purchased a ranch style home in St. Helena, and all the stars aligned: “It was the perfect size space and I knew a perfect builder and landscape designer, so I decided to give it a shot and, with the help of a local space planner, remodel the home myself.”
Describing his style as warm and modern, Dave mixes a variety of materials and textures and an assortment of pieces from different decades and different parts of the world in a room to create an inviting, layered and thoughtful space. “It is the fusion of the different materials and pieces from different parts of the world that makes a room special and creates a warm, textured and layered space.”
Dave breaks down his process: The first step is to always get to know and understand the clients and how they want to use the space. My goal is to help clients create spaces where they can recharge, be still, or gather with their friends and families. “I show them what I know they like, but also what they may like. I want the space to reflect the best of who they are,” he says.
Dave’s debut project, his St. Helena home, was published in SPACES magazine in the summer of 2017. His projects include residences in San Francisco, Napa Valley, Ojai, Chicago, and beyond. He is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School and resides in Napa Valley and San Francisco.